Taxpayer-paid Trump appointees take ‘personal time’ to staff deceptive election fraud group: report
President Donald Trump listens during a phone conversation with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto on trade in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on August 27, 2018. (AFP / Mandel Ngan)

According to a report at the Washington Post, federal employees appointed by Donald Trump are using their "personal time" to help staff an outside organization desperately searching for evidence of voter fraud that the president hopes will salvage his re-election hopes.

Of note, the Post reports, the federal government’s chief information security officer has chosen to use vacation time coming to him to lend a hand working for "the Voter Integrity Fund, a newly formed Virginia-based group that is analyzing ballot data and cold-calling voters in an attempt to substantiate the president’s outlandish claims about illicit voting."

While the government is ready to shift into a transition phase with President-elect Joe Biden taking the reins on January 20th, Camilo Sandoval, who oversees the information security for the federal government is out of the office and pitching in to find anything that can help the president.

"Sandoval is one of several Trump appointees in the federal government — some in senior roles — who are harnessing their expertise for the project, according to the group’s leader," the report states. "The participation of administration officials in the project shows the extent of the efforts by the president’s allies to justify his unfounded allegations of widespread ballot fraud. Federal employees are required under ethics rules to keep political activity separate from their government roles. Officials with the Voter Integrity Fund said the political appointees participating in the project are doing it in their personal time."

According to Sandoval, who started in his position last month, he is doing nothing out of the ordinary.

“I am doing this in my private capacity, just as many others have done in past elections. I think it’s pretty clear that this is acceptable and normal,” he explained.

Sandoval is not the only federal employee pitching in.

"Sandoval is part of a hastily convened team led by Matthew Braynard, a data specialist who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign. Another participant is Thomas Baptiste, an adviser to the deputy secretary of the Interior Department, who also took a leave to work on the project," the report states. "Braynard said in an interview that several other government officials on leave are also assisting the effort, but he declined to identify them."

In an interview with the Post, both Braynard and Sandoval claim that they have found evidence of possible fraud, but they have yet to make their any detailed findings public, with Brayard admitting “some of the evidence isn’t terribly compelling," before adding, “If this was a clean election, we can dispel a lot of the concern out there.”

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